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Respondent (Accused) FAQs

As a Respondent, or someone who may have been accused of engaging in an act(s) of sexual violence, we recognize that you may have some questions about the Office of Title IX & Sexual Misconduct, your rights/resources, and available options.

Below are some answers to questions you may have, but should you have a question that isn’t listed below, please reach out to the Office of Title IX & Sexual Misconduct and we’d be happy to help however we can.

 


Common FAQs:


What is considered Prohibited Conduct at TCNJ?

The various forms of conduct prohibited under the Sexual Harassment, Misconduct, & Discrimination Policy (“Policy”) are outlined below and those notated by an (*) indicate behaviors to which may also be considered Sexual Harassment as defined by the Title IX Final Rule if alleged conduct occurred within scope/jurisdiction of Title IX.

    • Sexual Harassment*
    • Sexual Assault*
    • Stalking*
    • Dating Violence*
    • Domestic Violence*
    • Sexual Exploitation
    • Gender-Based Discrimination or Harassment
    • Complicity
    • Compliance with Directives
    • Abuse of College Process
    • Retaliation
    • Defamation

Through the Sexual Harassment, Misconduct, & Discrimination Policy the College will be upholding a broad scope of sex and gender related violations. Some forms of College Sexual Misconduct may also be considered violations of Title IX as defined by the Title IX Final Rule depending on the nature, scope, and jurisdiction of the alleged conduct. Collectively these types of violations are referred to as “Prohibited Conduct.” 

Given the College’s dedication to addressing all forms of sex and gender-based harassment, misconduct, and discrimination, the College reserves the right to investigate and adjudicate all forms of Prohibited Conduct under this Policy regardless of any possible Title IX designation(s). More information about this can be found HERE.

Additional behaviors prohibited by the College are outlined in the Student Conduct Code.

It’s important to note that, Prohibited Conduct can be committed by or against individuals of any sex or gender and can occur between individuals of the same sex/gender or different sexes/genders. Further, Prohibited Conduct can occur between strangers or acquaintances, as well as persons involved in intimate, sexual, dating, domestic, or familial relationships.


What should I do if I receive a notification of investigation from the Office of Title IX & Sexual Misconduct?

  • Consider contacting resources available listed in the email and below on this web page. Those with an * represent confidential resources which means they do not have to share information you discuss with the Office of Title IX & Sexual Misconduct. The Dean of Students office is also available as a resource to you though not as a confidential resource.
  • Read the email you received from the Office of Title IX & Sexual Misconduct in its entirety and follow any directions outlined. Be sure to respond to the Title IX Coordinator and/or investigator.
  • Review the content on our College Resolution Process page for details about the each of the resolution options.
  • If you would like to utilize a College Trained Advisor, you can find a list of trained advisors and their contact information through the provided link, and more information on our Use of Advisor page.
  • If you would like learn more about available supportive measures, please see our Supportive Measures page for more information and contact the Office Title IX & Sexual Misconduct regarding specific requests.

What information will I receive about a report of alleged sexual misconduct if I am named as the Respondent?

In order for you to effectively and fully respond to the allegations, the College will provide you with details surrounding the allegations known at the time, including the name of the Reporter, the date(s) and time(s) of the alleged incident(s), the location(s) of the alleged incident(s), a brief summary of the allegations, and the specific policy or policies that are alleged to have been violated. Should additional allegations arise, the College will provide both parties with updated notice via email.


What rights do I have in a Prohibited Conduct (College resolution) proceeding?

  • To have access to applicable College policies and procedures and to be informed of the nature of all charges connected with the allegations of the Reporter.
  • To be treated with due respect by College officials.
  • To have an Advisor present during any proceeding, investigation meeting, or related meeting. With the exception of conducting cross-examination during a formal hearing (if applicable), the Advisor is limited to a non-participatory role; see Use of Advisor page for more information.
  • Adequate, reliable, and impartial investigation and appropriate resolution of all reports of Prohibited Conduct.
  • To be informed by the College of options to notify Campus Police Services and/or local law enforcement, and the option to be assisted by Campus Police Services in notifying other law enforcement, if the individual chooses.
  • To be notified of available counseling, mental health, academic, and other support services, both at the College and in the community.
  • To have allegations investigated by individuals who are properly trained to investigate and resolve allegations of Prohibited Conduct.
  • Equitable participation in the investigation process, including the opportunity to identify witnesses and other appropriate evidence.
  • The right to appeal as set forth in the procedures outlined in the Sexual Harassment, Misconduct, & Discrimination Policy.

Will my parents or anyone else outside of a ‘need to know capacity’ find out about me being named as a Respondent in a Title IX/sexual misconduct report?

No. Information received by the Office of Title IX & Sexual Misconduct is considered part of students’ educational records and is protected by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). FEPRA is a federal law that governs the rights of students and institutional responsibilities with respect to student records. FERPA prohibits the College from sharing information regarding your educational record (including reports or resolution processes within the Office of Title IX & Sexual Misconduct) with anyone else, including your parents, without your explicit and expressed permission. However, if a College resolution process is being used, both parties involved and their respective Advisors will receive equal access to information/evidence obtained throughout the process.


What are some supportive measures available to me as part of a College resolution process?

In all cases, the College will take appropriate steps designed to mitigate the effects of the alleged prohibited conduct, prevent its recurrence, and make accommodations for the student(s) involved. Even if the student is not interested in participating in a College or criminal process these measures can be applied. Details can be found on our Supportive Measures page.


Who should I contact if I need an accommodation during an investigation and/or hearing process?

Should you believe you may require and/or benefit from any Reasonable Accommodation(s) to effectively meet with Title IX & Sexual Misconduct staff and/or participate in the College’s resolution options, you are encouraged to contact the Accessibility Resource Center (“ARC”) directly at 609-771-3199. Reasonable Accommodation(s) are individualized and accord with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1992 (as amended). All requests must be made in advance and the Title IX & Sexual Misconduct staff will consider any Reasonable Accommodation(s) recommended by the ARC for persons who are both registered with the ARC and are participating in any meeting or proceeding through the Office of Title IX & Sexual Misconduct.


The College Policy prohibits retaliation – what does that mean?

The College Policy defines Retaliation as:

Any adverse action, intimidation, threat, coercion or discrimination against an individual (including Students, employees, and Third Parties) for the purpose of interfering with any right or privilege secured by Title IX or its Final Rule, or because the individual has made a report or Formal Complaint of Prohibited Conduct, been accused of Prohibited Conduct, testified, assisted, or participated or refused to participate in any manner in any investigation, proceeding, hearing, or other resolution process under this Policy. Retaliation also includes such conduct through associates or agents of a Reporter, Respondent, Third Party, or participant in any investigation, proceeding, or resolution process related to this Policy.

Retaliation can take many forms, including the dissemination of information in a manner intended to pressure or shame participants and witnesses in connection with the College’s resolution process (such as, through social media) or to discourage participants or witnesses from assisting with that process. Should you believe you or someone else participating in the process is experiencing retaliation, we strongly encourage you to document the concerns the best you can and report it to the Office of Title IX & Sexual Misconduct immediately so the matter can be addressed appropriately and in a timely manner.


Can I go through the legal system and the College process at the same time?

Yes, you can choose to go through the legal system and the College resolution process at the same time. These processes are separate and different from each other and have different standards of evidence. The outcomes of each process are also different from each other. However, there are MOUs (Memorandum of Understanding) between TCNJ’s Campus Police Services, the Office of Title IX & Sexual Misconduct, Ewing Police, and Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office. These agreements state that the College will make every effort to prioritize the criminal process (barring extenuating circumstances), however, the Office of Title IX & Sexual Misconduct reserves the right to formally commence the College resolution process at their discretion and to comply with federal law.

For more information about the similarities/differences between the College and Criminal processes and details regarding each, check out our Resolution Options page.


How can one go about making a compliant to the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) or the Department of Education when a community member believes that TCNJ has not upheld their responsibilities under Title IX?

For more information on your rights to submit a Title IX Discrimination Complaint, please review the information provided by OCR.

 

 

Helpful Resources:


ON-CAMPUS

Office of Title IX & Sexual Misconduct

As a member of the TCNJ community, you have the right to be protected from sex & gender- based discrimination under Title IX and other College policies, including sexual assault, dating/domestic violence, stalking, sexual harassment, sexual exploitation, and other forms of Prohibited Conduct. The Office of Title IX & Sexual Misconduct at TCNJ is committed to creating and maintaining an educational and work environment free from all forms of sexual violence, and to provide fair and equitable support and processes in which all students, faculty, and staff can learn, work, thrive and succeed. Whether you have experienced harm, have been accused of perpetrating harm, or are simply looking for information on how to support a friend who may have been impacted by sexual violence in some way, the Office of Title IX & Sexual Misconduct and our partners across campus are here for you.

Location: Brower Student Center, Suite 202
Phone: (609) 771-3112
Hours: Monday – Friday: 8:30 am – 4:30 pm
File a Report

 

Dean of Students Coordination of Advocacy Resources for Empowerment & Support (CARES) Program

The Dean of Student’s Office CARES Program connects students to resources that foster personal, academic and professional development through collaboration, coordination, facilitation, and execution of resources and support services. The CARE program also provides complex post-vention services for students experiencing personal, family, medical, and/or financial crisis.

Location: Brower Student Center, Suite 220
Phone: 609-771-CARE (2273)
Hours: Monday – Friday: 8:30 am – 4:30 pm

 

Mental Health Services (MHS)*

Mental Health Services (formally known as CAPS) offers group counseling, brief individual counseling and referral services to TCNJ undergraduate and graduate students. These services are provided free of charge.

Location: Eickhoff Hall 107
Phone: 609-771-2247
Hours: Monday – Friday: 8:30 am – 4:30 pm
Request for Services: https://caps.tcnj.edu/counseling-services/request-for-services-form/

AFTER HOURS: Contact TCNJ Police at 911 from any campus phone or 609-771-2345 from a cell phone or Capital Health Emergency Mental Health Services & Mobile Outreach (24/7) 609-396-HELP (4357)

 

Center for Integrated Wellness*

The Center for Integrated Wellness (TCNJ Clinic) is an outpatient facility that offers professionally supervised, low-fee, couples & family therapy and individual counseling to Mercer County and TCNJ residents, as well as the surrounding communities.

Location: Forcina Hall-124
Phone: (609) 771-2700
Hours: Monday 9 am- 4:30 pm, Tuesday-Thursday 9 am- 9 pm, and Friday 9 am- 4 pm

 

Community Counseling Collaborative*

Is a group of outside clinicians that provide services to TCNJ students either on-campus or at an off-campus location, whichever is preferred by the student.The clinicians accept various forms of insurance, and many will accept payments on a sliding scale, which means students who do not have insurance or cannot afford typical payments, would only be expected to pay what they can manage.

Location: Forcina Hall, Room 413-415 & off-campus locations available
Services & Contact Information: mhs.tcnj.edu/counseling-services/community-counseling-collaborative

 

* = Denotes they are a confidential resource

 

For additional information about available services, please see our Resources page.

For any questions or concerns, please contact the Title IX Coordinator, Chelsea Jacoby, directly at jacobyc@tcnj.edu or (609) 771-3112.

ATTENTION: For questions/concerns or if you or someone you know has experienced any form of sexual violence, be sure toContact Us
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